Thursday, August 28, 2014

VOCAL WINNERS: men in opera

Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the men's opera division of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2014. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award

The American Prize winner:
Houghton  NY
Mitchell Hutchings
Mitchell Hutchings’ most notable roles include the title roles in GIANNI SCHICCHI and SWEENEY TODD, Marcello in LA BOHÈME, Tarquinius in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, Escamillo in LA TRAGÉDIE DE CARMEN, Germont in LA TRAVIATA, Mercutio in ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, Marullo in RIGOLETTO, Quince in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Frank in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Ben in THE TELEPHONE, Yamadori & the Commissioner in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, and Benoit & Alcindoro in LA BOHÈME. Mitchell has been a Resident Artist of Des Moines Metro Opera, Pensacola Opera, Opera Saratoga, Ash Lawn Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, the Czech-American Summer Music Institute, and Opera Tampa's V.O.I.C.Experience program. Mitchell received his master's degree from Florida State University and bachelor’s from Western Carolina University. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at The Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College.

Among judges' comments: "Mr. Hutchings is very musical and sings with knowledgeable artistry."

2nd Place:
Sarasota  FL
Joseph Ryan
Joseph Ryan graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Masters in Vocal Performance in 2006. He participated in young artist programs with Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, and the Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy.  Most recently he performed as Alberich and Hagen with Opéra Louisiane in The Ring, a reduced version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and as Second Man in the Natchez Festival of Music’s 2013 production of Kiss Me, Kate. Other recent credits include Scarpia (cover) in St. Petersburg Opera’s production of Tosca in February 2013, the Sacristan in Tosca with Opera Naples in December 2012, and a semi-finalist in the 2012 Opera Birmingham Competition. Upcoming engagements include Morales in Opera Tampa’s 2014 production of Carmen and Sacristan in Natchez Festival of Music’s 2014 production of Tosca. For more information, please visit

Among judges' comments: "Mr. Ryan’s voice is strong and resonant."

3rd Place:
Memphis  TN
Rocky Sellers

Bass-Baritone, Rocky Sellers, has performed with various companies including: The Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Regina Opera, Opera Naples, Opera Saratoga, The Natchez Festival of Music, Delaware Valley Opera Company, Dell'arte Opera Ensemble, The Manhattan Opera Studio, New York Lyric Opera, The Seoul International Program, the Manhattan School of Music Opera, and The University of Tennessee- Knoxville Opera. Mr. Sellers’ previous operatic credits show his wide dramatic range of both Bass repertoire as well as Bass- baritone. Roles including: Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier), Banquo (MacBeth),  Dr. Bartolo/ Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) , Sparafucile/Monterone (Rigoletto), Leporello/ Commendatore (Don Giovanni) , Sarastro/ Papageno (The Magic Flute), Figaro/ Dr. Bartolo (Le Nozze di Figaro), Betto (Gianni Schicchi), Presto (Les Mamelles de Tiresias), Doctor Malatesta (Don Pasquale) and Wolfgang Big Bad (Three Little Pigs). He has received awards from The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Grady-Rayam Foundation (winner), The Kennett Symphony Voice competition (winner), The American Prize (3rd place) and NATS. His 2014-15 season includes his debut with Connecticut Lyric Opera in their productions of Der Rosenkavalier as Baron Ochs and La Boheme as Alcindoro in addition to his return to Regina Opera to sing the role of Dr. Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Sellers is a graduate of The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and pursued further studies at The Manhattan School of Music.

Among judges' comments: "He sings with great passion and expression."